Watching the work of The Buddy Bag Foundation through social media only gives you a glimpse of the work that goes on behind the scenes. Since it’s inception in 2015, its mission is to support 20,200 children fleeing domestic violence by 2020. On Thursday 20th September, at the 15,000 Bag Celebrations and Awards Ceremony, we could see how far the charity has come in such a short time.
48,000 children per year are affected by domestic violence in the UK; taken into safety in the middle of the night, often with only the clothes on their back, moving cities and schools. The Buddy Bag Foundation works with a range of support services and refuges across the UK and offers the children, and their families, essentials such as toiletries and underwear. However, what the children receive is comfort and care.
Surrounded by the chatter of volunteers, supports and partners, the intricate nature of the Buddy Bag’s community was clear in that room in Harvestfields Conference Centre. It was a celebration evening; not only of the 15,060 bags that had been packed and distributed, but of the amazing team work, effort, time and skills that are provided from across the country to make sure a bag filled with hope it available to as many children as possible.
One of things that sets The Buddy Bag Foundation apart is the community around it; to date over £275,000 have been raised to support each of the £25 bags; hundreds of hours have been volunteered for the community building bag packs, and skills shared from corporate partners have created a new website, PR, branding and design.
The celebration was a night to see how a group effort can make a real difference. From those who raise money, create the bags, develop the brand and support the management team, it was clear to see the passion I the room.
So, with out further ado, let’s share the names of the winners.
Volunteer of the Year:
Winners: Rachel & Stuart Boardman
Runner Up: Barry & Irene May
Ambassador of the Year:
Winner: Angela Gakis
Runner Up: John Wilson & Alison Bird
Going the Extra Mile
Winner: Mark Tonks (The Long Walk Home)
Runner Up: Jacqui Drain
Top Individual Fundraiser:
Winner: AW Dawson
Runner Up: Jaguar Land Rover
Corporate Partner of the Year:
Winner: Katie Leedham (Be More Roar)
Runner Up: Linda Aitchison
Making A Difference Award:
Winner: Andy Longhurst (Expand Digital Media)
Runner Up: Charlotte Shutt (Brand Remarkable)